Blog posted by Ste Pickford on Sun, 17 Jul 2011
Subject: Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint
Wow, yesterday was a bit of an emotional roller-coaster.
John came round Friday afternoon, and after a bit of a high level strategy meeting about updates and new products, we retired to the local pub for what was originally planned to be a little celebration of the launch of our first iOS game, Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint.
It hadn't launched yet though - it was still Waiting For Review at Apple. Well, we could celebrate that instead.
Before we set off I was playing the game on John's iPad (I don't have an iPad so I only get to play the game on my 3G normally, and it's so much nicer on the iPad) (and yes, even after months of development I still enjoy playing the game for fun!), when a weird pop up appeared on the screen from the developer ITC app, informing us that the game had gone into review at Apple.
Yay - we could celebrate after all! We asked a few other devs and were told that the in-review stage could last anywhere from 15 minutes to a week. Oh well, fingers crossed.
A few pints later and another pop-up appeared, just as we were leaving the pub. The game was approved for sale!
Woohoo! Time to crack open another bottle at home and see what the game looked like in its App Store glory.
A couple of people had suggested that we don't automatically release the app upon approval, but wait until it's approved then pick a date to tie in with press coverage etc. We considered that, but I'm not sure how great our ability to coordinate press coverage is at the best of times, and we just wanted people to start playing the game and hopefully get some 'word of mouth' going, so we'd set it to instant release.
We also knew from twitter and facebook that we had a queue of people waiting for release who'd probably buy some of the in-app purchases straight away, so we figured we'd just let the game come out asap and get the ball rolling slowly that way, and have the thrill of earning some money for the first time in a while.
I slept well on Friday night, but woke up Saturday morning to texts and messages asking why the in-game shop wasn't working, or if we'd made the game free by mistake.
A bleary-eyed nosy on the iTunesConnect website revealed that the five in-app-purchases were still "Wating For Review" even though the game was out. Our shop was closed!
John and I scratched our head, then panicked a bit. Had we done something wrong with the in-app-purchase submission? Should we pull the app from the store? Are we going to have loads of disgruntled players? Is the coffee ready yet?
We calmed down a bit and saw that overnight loads of people had started sharing the link to the app and raving about it. We were already getting 5-star ratings and really nice reviews on the App Store, and threads about the game were popping up on forums all over the internet.
We were gutted and delighted at the same time.
We decided not to pull the app, in the hope the purchases would just appear any minute. Throughout the day more 5-star ratings and lovely reviews rolled in, but no movement on the IAPs. It was beautifully sunny here in Buxton, interspersed with short bursts of torrential rainfall. How appropriate!
We've asked around and as far as we can tell we hadn't done anything wrong, and the non-review of the IAPs might just be a hiccup at Apple's end. We've fired off a few emails and requests, so now we've just got to wait and see. I've no idea if Apple even work on weekends, like us indie developers.
Oh well, time to go and refresh the iTunesConnect web page, again...
» Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint - Now Available on the App Store!